India is keen to open a consulate in Jaffna, once a stronghold of the LTTE, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said today, even as she pressed for political reconciliation among all communities in Sri Lanka so as to usher in peace and harmony.
Rao, who held wide ranging discussion with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said she received positive response from him on India request to open a consulate in Jaffna.
"Of course we have to work out the modalities. Because we feel our office there will help us to be in touch with the local people, help us do assistance programme, help issue visas," she said.
Rao said the opening an Indian mission in Jaffna will ultimately help the bilateral relationship and it would also benefit the people of the north to see connectivity restored with the southern India. India has only one consulate in Kandy, the Sinhala dominated area.
At the conclusion of her three-day visit to the Sri Lanka, the top Indian diplomat said that during her two hour discussions with Rajapaksa on Sunday, the early resettlement of the IDPs also came up for talks.
"People in the north want to see normal life once again. The sense I get people don’t want conflict. They are not in favour of extremism. They want normal lives. They want to be pragmatic in their approach to this.
"There aspirations, their self respect, their essential interests to be preserved. They want connectivity with India, cultural renaissance, tourism. They are hunger for all that," she said.